Attorney Coaching: An Important Tool from Integration through Advancement

25 April 2022 Foley Career Perspectives Blog
Author(s): Anjali D. Desai

When we talk about the attorney development lifecycle – from the time attorneys join a firm through their subsequent advancement within the firm – we’re really talking about the processes and resources that an organization brings to bear to help these attorneys optimize their individual efforts to navigate and grow their careers.

The firm’s recruiting and human resources teams may assist with recruiting and initial onboarding and training, while the professional development team will be instrumental in connecting attorneys to their practice group and mentors, delivering skills and substantive training programs, and administering the performance evaluation and work allocation process. Attorneys may also be provided support through DEI and well-being initiatives, as well as business development training as they progress within the firm.

In today’s highly competitive and in-flux market for talent, many firms are making a significant investment in talent development. But how do you ensure that attorneys maximize these development resources?

One big idea that Foley’s Director of Coaching Anjali Desai recently co-presented on at the NALP 2022 Annual Education Conference is that coaching skills can be leveraged by a variety of individuals within the firm during their various touchpoints with attorneys. While some firms like Foley offer dedicated in-house executive coaching services, we can further help attorneys bring more intentionality and direction to their careers by arming recruiting, diversity, business development, and other business professionals at the firm with coaching skills.

Anjali Desai Foley

Desai and the other presenters (pictured here) talked through a number of coachable moments at pivotal points during an attorney’s onboarding, integration, and advancement processes. They shared – and had attendees practice – basic coaching skills such as listening, acknowledging, validating, and asking open-ended questions.

At Foley, Desai often works in coordination with recruiting, professional development, DEI, and other internal teams to assist with attorney integration and advancement through various professional development frameworks. This approach complements the traditional 1:1 coaching that Desai offers to attorneys at Foley to co-create with them a path forward to uncover their intrinsic motivations, harness their innate strengths, and foster planning and accountability.

To learn more about our Director of Coaching Anjali Desai and the attorney coaching services we offer at Foley, listen to this episode of Foley’s The Path & The Practice podcast.

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